West, on the modern site of Tuna al-Gebel
near Minya, was the necropolis of the city
of Hermopolis, sacred to the Greek god
Hermes and his Egyptian counterpart Thoth.
It is best known for the sprawling catacombs
at the foot of the western cliffs, where
thousands of ibises (dedicated to Thoth)
and other sacred animals were buried from
the New Kingdom through Roman times.
Besides multitudes of ibises and
the galleries were also used for the burials
of fish, pigs, dogs, cats, goats,
pelicans, monkeys, falcons, larks, and
kestrels, all mummified and placed into
pottery jars. Potsherds and torn and broken
mummies are still strewn in the passages
major attraction of the site is the early
Ptolemaic tomb of a high priest of Thoth
named Petosiris, decorated with reliefs
in a blend ofGreek and Egyptian styles.
Petosiris's wooden coffin,
exquisitely inlaid with colored glass hieroglyphs,
can be seen in the Egyptian Museum.
of Roman-era tombs lie to the south.
The most famous of these belongs to Isadora,
a young woman who drowned in the second
century BC. Her mummy lies in a glass
case in her tomb.
oldest monument at Tuna al-Gebel is a stele
marking the northwest
of Akhenaten’s city at Amarna, partway
up a slope north of Hermopolis West. It
bears scenes of Akhenaten and Nefertiti
worshipping the sun disk (the Aten) and
is carved with an extensive text describing
the founding of the city.
Open daily. Summer:
8 AM - 5 PM
Winter: 8 AM - 4 PM
Egyptian: 1 LE
Foreign: 15 LE
Reduction for bearers of International Student ID Card
7 km west of Hermopolis
BY TAXI: ask for “tuna al-gebel”
Due to heightened security, private taxis
are the only reliable way to visit this
site. Local police will provide an escort
The site is not wheelchair accessible.